Editorial Notes

"The editorial page of the paper should begin where the rest of the paper leaves off."

Vermont C. Royster
Pulitzer Prize winning editorial writer

An editorial is an article that states the newspaper's ideas on an issue. These ideas are presented as opinion.

Editorials appear on the newspaper's editorial page, a page which includes editorials, columns, opinion articles, reviews and cartoons. If the paper contains more than one opinion page, the others are called op-ed pages.

The editorial board is a group of people, usually the top editors, who decide on a plan for each editorial that will appear in a newspaper.

The newspaper is the voice of the community.
The editorials are the voice of the newspaper.
This voice can inform readers, stimulate thinking, mold opinion and occasionally move people to action.

To be worthy of print space, the editorial needs to tell the reader something that would not be discussed in a straight news story. However, the editorial must be researched carefully and just as thoroughly as a news story. The newspaper's reputation is based on the accuracy of the supporting material found in an editorial.

In general, an editorial should be organized in 4 steps:

Types of Editorials

Editorials that explain are somewhat like expository essays. They attempt to interpret or inform rather than to argue a point of view. The only expression of opinion comes in the interpretation of the facts.

These editorials explain topics such as the elimination of a sports program, a change in the grading system or in the type of scheduling, or perhaps the sudden departure of an administrator or faculty member. They are most effective when they explain what has taken place, give a detailed description of the causes, and highlight the importance of the topic.

Editorials that evaluate focus on actions or situations that the editors view as being wrong or in need of improvement-or that are praiseworthy.
If the editorial criticizes, it should always be constructive. Emphasize the positive about what you are criticizing, or your readers will not trust you. If you criticize, you have an obligation to offer an alternative solution or course of action.
If the editorial praises, there should be specific reasons for doing so. Perhaps an organization or individual has gone above and beyond the call of duty and the staff feels there should be some recognition.

Generally, editorials that persuade offer specific solutions to a perceived problem. They expect immediate action rather than the understanding of a situation. A persuasive editorial can provide leadership in bringing about changes in school policy or in student behavior. If a school is in the middle of a controversy, editorials that persuade offer the opportunity to suggest a compromise.


1. Editorial Research Worksheet
>determine a topic and look online for support for your opinions.

2. Building an Editorial Worksheet
>form for building the blocks of your editorial to help with the rough draft

3. Rough Draft
>using the worksheet, complete the story; minimum of four paragraphs

4. Research Worksheet
>complete the editorial worksheet from Assignment #1

5. Final Draft with sources included as footnotes
>must be typed

6. Self Assessment
>review the requirements and the rubric listed below. On the back of the paper, explain what grade you believe your editorial qualifies for.

7. Editorial Rubric.